Lifting slings and hoists are incredibly handy pieces of equipment used in a range of industrial spaces, including maintenance bays, garages, workshops and manufacturing facilities. They come in a range of variants, and so we have written this handy guide to help you make the right hoist choice for your site.
What are industrial hoists and slings?
Lifting slings and hoists are essentially heavy-duty straps or chains that are wrapped around the heavy item or piece of equipment, then lifted up and, if necessary, manoeuvred into the new position with lifting equipment.
Why use Industrial Hoists?
It would be impossible to lift some items safely and then either work on them or move them around, without using a hoist and lifting equipment. If an engineer needs to access the underside of a five-tonne piece of equipment, or a mechanic needs to work on an engine away from the vehicle, for example, then there is simply no better way of doing so than with a hoist. High-quality hoists will be able to lift and support vast weights, with an absolute minimum of manual handling risks and other safety issues – dropping the weight being chief among them.
What are the options?
Forklift hoist attachments
A supremely handy bit of kit for warehouses and other industrial sites that already have forklift trucks and trained operators. These attachments slide over the forks and can be secured on, converting your truck into a mobile crane. This can then be used with your chosen strap, chain or other attachments for easy, safe lifting and moving. It’s not only a cost-effective way of getting a crane unit, but it is also space-saving – you’ve already got the truck so you only need storage space for a relatively small add-on item.
Lever hoists make use of manual power to lift the load – a chain is passed through a ratcheting gear system that can be cranked by the operator to provide the necessary tension and lift. Lever hoists are particularly adaptable, as they can be used both vertically and horizontally, do not require a power source and can usually be used in smaller spaces than a power lift (see below). They also need a lot less storage space when not in use. On the downside, if you are lifting and moving a lot of equipment or goods throughout the day the strain of cranking for so long can be exhausting.
Power hoists use electricity to provide the lift and so they are a lot less tiring to use. They work in basically the same way as a lever hoist, with the chain passing through a gearing system to lift the goods/equipment. They can take up very little space when stored, but will cost a little more than the lever hoist.
Mobile cranes are all-in-one units. They have a frame, base, arm and hook, all mounted on castors or wheels to provide easy manoeuvrability. Naturally, these take up the most space on site, but many manufacturers offer collapsible/foldable options to mitigate this.
A sling can be used alongside all the lifting options we’ve discussed – it is essentially a super-strong strap with loops at the ends for placing on a hoist hook. Slings have a weight capacity marking, so make sure you get one that is both strong enough to hold the necessary weight and large enough for the equipment/goods you need to lift.